Trembling Time

EMAF´s theme 2023 is “Trembling Time” - a time in turmoil, whose momentum is diffuse and undirected but widely felt, in which the possible end of something may be suggested as well as the emergence of something new.

The motto of the EMAF 2023 does not primarily stand for a moment of crisis - even if we are currently experiencing at firsthand how the time frame in which the global climate catastrophe could still be averted is visibly narrowing; how global wars and conflicts are having an impact right down to our local and very personal contexts and are being prolonged for their victims in the traumatic temporality of flight and migration. This is also about an understanding of time that is becoming increasingly questionable: a temporality that is oriented towards historical fixed and turning points, and the abstract rhythms that clock our post-industrial contemporary world. With “Trembling Time”, the EMAF invites us - in its exhibition, film programmes, lectures and performances - to revise our ideas of temporality and history, to confront them with other forms of remembering, imagining and being-in-the-world, and thus also to experience the trembling of time as a movement that, by throwing relations into disorder and shaking up hierarchies, opens up new paths for us.

In the exhibition for the festival, curated by Inga Seidler, our understanding of time will be challenged. The artists on display will look at alternative histories and ideas of the future beyond the idea of progress. In doing so, their observations, narratives or deconstructions take place in the context of time and its perception against the backdrop of a global climate and environmental crisis, which at the same time represents a moment that evokes the image of the passage of time.

Curated by Rachael Rakes, the film programme takes on the idea of “Trembling Time” by merging temporal revisionisms and projections. With the observation that progressive time is a construct, and potentially a terminally dangerous one at that, the works in this programme engage with and demonstrate various alternate time and value forms. These include anti-chronologies, re- and pre-enactments, ways of making life in imperial ruins, non-narrative enunciations of reality, and infrastructures of non-human non-linear relations.

What changes when the only way left to move forward is to slow down? The talks programme, curated by Daphne Dragona, will focus on models of (de)growth that respect the needs and rhythms of different worlds. Theorists and practitioners will discuss the problematics of progress in relation to zones of sacrifice and will shed light on approaches that invite people to actively change habits and pace. Within this context, the role of the art world itself will also be addressed, bringing to the foreground different paradigms with regard to the use of energy and time, to forms of cultural production and attendance.